Saturday, September 26, 2009

Christians Arrested for Debating Muslim; Nurse Demoted for Wearing Cross

Effect of 'hate crimes' laws:

A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel.

Christian nurse, Shirley Chaplin believes The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital changed her duties because she wouldn't remove her cross necklace, thus preventing her religious expression.

UPDATE 4/8/10: UK government tribunal rules NHS can ban its nurse employees from wearing Christian crosses

-- From "Christian hotel owners hauled before court after defending their beliefs in discussion with Muslim guest" by Jonathan Petre, UK Daily Mail 9/20/09

Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments.

They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

The couple, whose trial has been set for December, face a fine of up to £5,000 and a criminal record if they are convicted.

Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

It is understood that they suggested that Mohammed, the founder of Islam, was a warlord and that traditional Muslim dress for women was a form of bondage.

They deny, however, that their comments were threatening and argue that they had every right to defend and explain their beliefs.

[Vogelenzang] added that the episode had damaged their business and they had been forced to lay off staff and run the nine-bedroom hotel by themselves, leaving them exhausted.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Christian nurse removed from frontline duty for wearing cross necklace" by UK Daily Mail Reporter 9/21/09

[The hospital] said the policy had nothing to do with the crucifix specifically, and was motivated by health and safety concerns about patients grabbing necklaces.

Mrs Chaplin, 54, from Exeter, said: 'For about 30 years I have worked in the NHS and nursed patients day and night and on no occasion has my cross caused me or anyone else any injury - and to my knowledge, no patient has ever complained about me wearing it.

Mrs Chaplin, who is due to retire in eight months, added: 'Everyone I have ever worked with has clearly known I am a Christian: it is what motivates me to care for others.'

She claimed other members of staff have been allowed to wear necklaces.
The Trust said necklaces of all kinds were banned but admitted there may have been 'lapses'.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.